Pakistan registered a record run-chase in Galle on Wednesday to beat Sri Lanka in the first Test of the series. The side chased down a 342-run target with four wickets remaining, as Abdullah Shafique produced a magnificent performance with the bat. The Pakistan opener remained unbeaten on 160 off 408 balls to steer the visitors to victory in the Galle Test, braving an impressive spell of bowling from the in-form left-arm spinner Prabath Jayasuriya who picked four wickets in the innings (9 in the match).
However, there was one captaincy decision from Babar Azam which left a few scratching their heads including former skipper Shahid Afridi. Following the fifth wicket of Pakistan innings, the side promoted Hasan Ali to seventh spot in the batting order – the move eventually failed as he was dismissed on 5 off four deliveries.
Afridi said that he didn’t agree with the call, insisting that Mohammad Nawaz – who remained unbeaten on 19 in the chase – should have been sent after the fifth wicket.
‘I felt they shouldn’t have promoted Hasan Ali at that time. Because it was a left-arm spinner who was taking most of the wickets. I felt Nawaz should have come to the crease after Salman’s wicket. I know it was the the captain’s decision, though, it isn’t necessary that I am right and he is wrong,” Afridi said on Samaa TV.
“I only felt that a left-hander would have played (Nawaz) and a left-armer was bowling. So, for that, Nawaz would’ve been a better option,” the former Pakistan skipper further added.
With the win over Sri Lanka, Pakistan are third in the World Test Championship table with four wins in 8 matches. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, are sixth with as many wins in 9 games. India, who recently faced a seven-wicket defeat to England in the rescheduled fifth Test earlier this month, are fourth (six wins in 12 games).
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